Our Mutual Friend

Our Mutual Friend

Book - 1997
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Penguin Putnam
Charles Dickens's last complete novel and a glorious satire spanning all levels of Victorian society

Our Mutual Friend centres on an inheritance - Old Harmon's profitable dust heaps - and its legatees, young John Harmon, presumed drowned when a body is pulled out of the River Thames, and kindly dustman Mr Boffin, to whom the fortune defaults. With brilliant satire, Dickens portrays a dark, macabre London, inhabited by such disparate characters as Gaffer Hexam, scavenging the river for corpses; enchanting, mercenary Bella Wilfer; the social-climbing Veneerings; and the unscrupulous street-trader Silas Wegg. The novel is richly symbolic in its vision of death and renewal in a city dominated by the fetid Thames, and the corrupting power of money. Our Mutual Friend uses text of the first volume edition of 1865 and includes original illustrations, a chronology and revised further reading. As Adrian Poole writes in his introduction to this new edition, 'In its vast scope and perilous ambitions it has much in common with Bleak House and Little Dorrit, but its manner is more stealthy, on edge, enigmatic.'

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Random House, Inc.
Charles Dickens's last complete novel, Our Mutual Friend is a glorious satire spanning all levels of Victorian society, edited with an introduction by Adrian Poole in Penguin Classics. Our Mutual Friend centres on an inheritance - Old Harmon's profitable dust heaps - and its legatees, young John Harmon, presumed drowned when a body is pulled out of the River Thames, and kindly dustman Mr Boffin, to whom the fortune defaults. With brilliant satire, Dickens portrays a dark, macabre London, inhabited by such disparate characters as Gaffer Hexam, scavenging the river for corpses; enchanting, mercenary Bella Wilfer; the social-climbing Veneerings; and the unscrupulous street-trader Silas Wegg. The novel is richly symbolic in its vision of death and renewal in a city dominated by the fetid Thames, and the corrupting power of money. Our Mutual Friend uses text of the first volume edition of 1865 and includes original illustrations, a chronology and revised further reading. As Adrian Poole writes in his introduction to this new edition, 'In its vast scope and perilous ambitions it has much in common with Bleak House and Little Dorrit, but its manner is more stealthy, on edge, enigmatic.' Charles Dickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield and The Pickwick Papers, have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions. If you enjoyed Our Mutual Friend, you might like Dickens's The Mystery of Edwin Drood, also available in Penguin Classics. 'The great poet of the city. He was created by London' Peter Ackroyd

Publisher: London ; New York : Penguin Books, 1997
ISBN: 9780140434972
0140434976
Branch Call Number: FICTION DICKENS
Characteristics: xxxiii, 884 p. : ill. ; 20 cm

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c
Calvacade
Aug 14, 2015

This is one of my favorite Dickens tales- it's also the last book he ever wrote.

patienceandfortitude Jan 17, 2012

I started reading Our Mutual Friend with some trepidation because I had previously found Dicken's slow going and it is a very long book. But I discovered that I must have changed as I found this book very enjoyable, and at times funny. I enjoyed the characters, plot twists and the perspective on class, society, wealth, poverty, virtue and values. If you are thinking about giving Dickens another try, I recommend this book.

c
Cepros
Jul 11, 2011

Our Mutual Friend is one of my top five favorite novels and definitely my favorite Dickens novel. Very briefly, the main plot involves the murder of a young man coming home to claim his inheritance. There are several very complicated plots of around 800 pages and about 50 named characters to keep track of, but this novel is worth the effort. For one thing, it's absolutely and consistently hilarious. As a third person narrator, Dickens frequently interjects his own snarky commentary on whatever is going on in the story. Also, the characters show Dickens's characterization powers at their best. The people who populate this fictional London are perfectly balanced: bizarre enough to grab the readers' attention and come to life, but not so bizarre that they become unrealistic. Specifically, the character of Eugene Wrayburn is fantastic: very sarcastic and witty, if a tad exasperating. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time to work out exactly what Dickens is talking about, but that is part of the fun. For example, there is one character named Twemlow, who is like a table: people see him, but no one really pays attention to him. Instead of telling us that Twemlow is like a table, Dickens describes him as a table, so it's not entirely clear at first whether we are reading about a person or a piece of furniture. I have recommended this book to four different people, and they have all loved it.

m
madlibscientist
Oct 27, 2009

I was truly impressed with this wonderful book by Charles Dickens. On one level, it is the love story of two different couples, pulled apart my social mores and money. On a deeper level, this book is about social class struggle, pollution, honor, poverty, generosity, and deception. The layers and metaphors Dickens uses to create this novel is truly amazing. Loved it much more than I thought I would!

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